Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

Typically, when individuals think of workplace discrimination race, religion, and/or gender immediately come to mind.  However, some employees are facing discrimination due to their weight.  According to a recent article in Fast Company titled "The Hidden Discrimination Against Being Fat At Work":

Numerous studies have found that obese and overweight people experience all manner of discrimination at work, and much of it is perfectly legal. Some struggle to find a job at all. In recent years, employers like Victoria Hospital in Texas have explicitly stated that they won't hire anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35 (about 220 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-6), which is far from a foolproof predictor of good health.
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Update: Non-Compete's and Jimmy John's

In October 2014, we wrote about Jimmy John's and their controversial non-compete agreements imposed upon their employees.  Well, the New York Attorney General recently found that the non-competes were in fact unlawful and Jimmy John's must cease enforcement of the agreements - in the state of New York.  This outcome makes it likely that the notable "Freaky Fast" empire... 

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$1.85M Fine for Gender Discrimination

Gordon Food Services, a Michigan-based company, was recently fined by the Department of Labor for systemic gender discrimination resulting from their hiring practices.  Gordon's would often disqualify women from warehouse jobs due to their failure to satisfy strength tests administered by the company.  

The department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs indicated that it "found that the company systematically eliminated qualified women from the hiring process through various discriminatory means, including the unlawful use of the strength test." Six women were hired, compared to nearly 300 men.

The federal government deemed the test illegal because it was non-essential to the functions of the respective job.  

As a result, Gordon's agreed to pay $1,850,000 in back pay, interest, and benefits to the 926 women affected by the discrimination.  Additionally, the government ordered Gordon's to hire 37 of the women affected.  As with most cases of gender discrimination an adequate assessment of current hiring practices would have raised a "red flag" preventing a sizeable fine and negative publicity. 

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Impending Overtime Woes

An excerpt from the Inc. article by Suzanne Lucas addressing the affect the proposed change in overtime laws will have for Congress and their staff.  

Last summer the Department of Labor released a new proposal for a change in overtime laws. Significantly, regardless of job duties, employees will have to earn $50,440 per year before they can be considered exempt from overtime. The change hasn't been implemented yet (the proposed date is September 2016), but business owners are already in a panic.
Why? The previous threshold was only $23,660, so this throws a lot of jobs--an estimated five million, in fact--into the pot. This is a huge deal and will cause lots of problems for business owners and employees alike. Guess who just figured it out?

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